Thirty macaques restrained in sealed bags and boxes were found in an unoccupied building in Saraburi province police believe was used by wildlife traffickers to evade vehicle searches at a nearby checkpoint.
Police raided the building in Phra Phuttabat district in the small hours of Thursday after being alerted by passing motorist Phirom Phranavee, who reported hearing the animal’s loud screeches as she drove by the place with her younger sister.
Police found 29 live macaques, either stuffed in plastic boxes in the living room or in bags hanging from a nylon rope strung in the bathroom. Another was found dead outside the building.
Police called in experts from the regional Conversation Forest Management Administration Office to examine the captive animals.
Office director Sutthipong Kaemthupthim confirmed they were macaques, a protected wild animal.
He formally registered a complaint with duty officer Pol Capt Nawaret Kraiyajaem at Pha Phuttabat, asking police to find those responsible.
Violators face a maximum fine of 500,000 baht and/or five years imprisonment. (continues below)
Bags containing macaques found hung on a clothes line in the bahtroom. (Police TV Facebook account photo)
Pol Capt Nawaret said it was likely the captive primates were left there by wildlife traffickers to avoid a vehicle search at a nearby police checkpoint. They would have returned down a side track to collect them after passing through it.
Ms Phirom, who was with police during the inspection, said she had not expected to see so many macaques when she and her sister reported the noises.
The macaques were taken to a wild animal shelter in Nakhon Nayok province.
(Police TV Facebook account photo)